DNP Minimum Requirements
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Admission Minimum Requirements
Admission to all Advanced Practice Programs is at the DNP level. On-campus interview is a required part of the admission process. Students must complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the DNP program. Background checks and drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study.
Two major areas considered in admissions decisions: (1) Academic Preparation and Achievement; and (2) Personal Qualities. The applicant’s personal qualities are assessed in three ways: (1) through an essay, (2) through Reference Forms, and (3) through interviews.
Academic Preparation and Achievement
Only applicants with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 based on all collegiate work or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant’s most recently completed degree program will be considered for admission. Recent entering DNP classes have had a mean grade point average (GPA) of 3.33. The GPA calculation for the most recently completed degree will be based only on those grades earned at the degree-granting institution. Applicants may submit additional documents to demonstrate professional scholarship and leadership abilities that could make them more competitive.
Applicants to the DNP program are considered for admission to their selected specialty options within the College of Nursing. The total number of students admitted to the DNP program will vary depending on the number of positions available in each specialty option. Additionally, applicants may be more or less competitive within an option based on previous performance in selected course work. Faculty in the Nurse Anesthesia Option, for example, review applicant performance in basic sciences in addition to the cumulative GPA necessary for application.
An applicant’s personal qualities are assessed in three ways: (1) through an essay; (2) through Recommendation Forms; and (3) through interviews.
- Essay - The purpose of the essay is to provide the College of Nursing Admissions Committee further insight into the professional goals, motivation, and expectations of the applicant and to evaluate written communication skills.
- Recommendation Forms - Applicants must submit at least three (3) Recommendation Forms from graduate prepared nurses or faculty members who can address their potential or ability for functioning in the advanced practice or research role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership). Two (2) academic and one (1) professional nursing work related reference are required. Applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program are required to submit at least one (1) Recommendation Form submitted by a faculty member in that program.
- Interview - In order to assess the personal qualities of an applicant, selected individuals are invited to campus for interviews. Academic achievement, GPA ranking, previous experience, and written essay are considered in determining who will be invited to interview. Match of applicant’s educational goals with faculty programs of practice or research is an important factor assessed during the interview process. The interview will be in-person and face to face unless extraordinary circumstances warrant other arrangements. The DNP Program Director is charged with decision responsibility related to “extraordinary circumstances.”
Full application instructions and admission fees found online at the Application Instructions page.
Minimum Requirements for DNP Admission
The DNP applicant must:
- Submit official copies of transcripts for all college and university work. Submit of a copy of an unencumbered Tennessee RN license or have unencumbered authority to practice as an RN via the multi-state privilege at the time of application. Accepted students must maintain an unencumbered RN license for the duration of their program.
- Have earned a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. If the baccalaureate degree is in Nursing, it must be from a program accredited by a national organization (NLNAC or CCNE) responsible for nursing accreditation.
- Have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 based on all collegiate work or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 earned during the applicant’s most recently completed degree program. The GPA calculation for the most recently completed degree will be based only on those grades earned at the degree-granting institution. Applicants may submit additional documents to demonstrate professional scholarship and leadership abilities that could make them more competitive.
- Students who were previously enrolled, but did not complete a nursing program, must submit a letter of good standing from the Director of the Nursing Program
- Provide current and relevant documentation of physical, learning, psychological, or other disabilities, if applicable. Documentation guidelines are available in the Student Academic Support Services (SASS) Office, GEB, room BB9. Students should call (901) 448-7746 and schedule an appointment to discuss accommodation needs as soon as possible following entry into the Program.
- Submit three (3) recommendation forms. The recommendation forms are required to be from graduate prepared nurses or faculty members who can address the applicant’s potential or ability for functioning in the advanced practice or research role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership). Two (2) recommendation forms are required from faculty members who can address academic ability and one (1) recommendation form is required to be completed by an employer or professional who can address professional performance.
- Submit an essay of the applicant’s expectation of how a DNP will affect their practice and complete a brief essay during the interview process to demonstrate written communication skills.
- Provide a copy of a current certification in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR/BCLS) or advanced life support prior to enrollment; students enrolled in the MSN or DNP program are expected to maintain current certification throughout their enrollment in the program. Some advanced practice options (e.g., Nurse Anesthesia) may have additional certification requirements.
- Have ready access to a Web-connected, laptop personal computer. Computer literacy and adequate computer skills are required.
- Provide evidence of having met the experience requirements for certain advanced practice options (e.g., Nurse Anesthetist and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner) prior to admission.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the English language. All students matriculating at UTHSC must be proficient in the English language. Applicants will be required to present evidence of proficiency in English if a) their native language is not English, or b) at any time during the application process there is reason to believe the applicant is not proficient in the English language. Students will be required to present evidence of proficiency in English if at any time during matriculation there is reason to believe the student is not proficient in the English language. Evidence of proficiency in the English language is established through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable scores are 550 on TOEFL paper version, 213 on TOEFL computer version, and 80 on TOEFL web-based version. TOEFL scores must have been earned within two years prior to application for the current UTHSC program. Any application for exemption from the TOEFL examination requirement must be submitted before the application deadline to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, (901) 448-6125.
- Complete a successful criminal background check and drug screen within 30 days of official acceptance to the program. Background checks may be repeated during the student’s program of study.
- After acceptance, students are required to submit a $75 Admission Processing Fee and a $200 Guaranteed Enrollment Deposit (GED). The GED, a non-refundable fee due within 30 days of acceptance, is held in escrow and applied to the student’s first term of study. The GED for DNP CRNA (entry) students is $1500. The GED for all other DNP students is $200.
In Addition, DNP Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA Entry) applicant must:
- Submit a Graduate Record Exam Score (GRE Score). Official scores must have been earned within 5 years prior to the application deadline date [September 1].
- Provide evidence of having a minimum of one year ICU experience within two years of the time of application.
- Submit a copy of a current certification in BCLS, ACLS, and PALS cardio-pulmonary resuscitation advanced life support and maintain current certification throughout their enrollment in the program.
NOTE: APPLICANTS WHO MEET THE MINIMUM PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED INTERVIEW OR ADMISSION.
Application instructions for the DNP Program can be found online at Application Instructions page.
UTHSC College of Nursing
920 Madison Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Toll Free: 800-733-2498
Jamie Overton, M.A.Ed.
Student Affairs, Senior Coordinator
920 Madison, #1021
Memphis, TN 38163
Student Affairs - Admin Coordinator
920 Madison, #1020
Memphis, TN 38163